• January 19, 2023

Michael Stewart Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on US-82 in Barbour County, AL

Barbour County, AL — January 18, 2023, 49-year-old truck driver Michael Stewart died in a collision with another 18-wheeler on U.S. Highway 82 in Barbour County.

Authorities say the incident happened Wednesday along US-82 near mile marker 235, close to Eufaula. Preliminary investigation suggests Stewart was driving a Kenworth tractor-trailer on the highway when for unknown reasons he collided with the back of a Freightliner big rig driven by 44-year-old Milton Caldwell.

Steward was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Folks sometimes think the fault for a rear-end collision like this lies with the striking driver basically by default, but jumping straight to that conclusion means ignoring all the ways such a crash could actually be out of that person's control.

That's why it's important to investigate more carefully and learn the facts: Why exactly did the trucks collide? Did the Freightliner truck brake suddenly ahead of the Kenworth, or maybe cut it off? Was something wrong with the Kenworth's brakes or steering that kept it from avoiding the other big rig? What were traffic, visibility, and road conditions like in that area at the time? Do police plan to check every available source of data—forensic scene analysis, crash reconstruction, 3D simulations, ECM data and dashcam footage from the trucks, and many others—to be sure they have the whole story?

My point is just that it's too soon to jump to any conclusions as many dots have yet to be properly connected. The most important thing here is to find the whole truth of what happened for that man's loved ones, who I would imagine have plenty of urgent questions the few vague sentences in the news didn't address. I just hope authorities will take the time and care to bring them satisfactory answers.

Michael Stewart Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident on US-82 in Barbour County, AL
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